In a strange sport-hopping turn of events, Mexican pound-for-pound superstar, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, has called out footballing icon Lionel Messi, claiming the Argentina captain kicked the Mexico shirt whilst it was on the floor of his changing room.
Messi was celebrating with the rest of his countrymen following a crucial 2-0 victory over Mexico to keep his side in the World Cup. In the post-game celebrations, the Argentine appeared to flick a Mexico shirt with his foot and, in the words of Canelo, clean the floor with the national jersey.
On Twitter, Canelo was outraged and lashed out at Messi in a series of tweets. The undisputed super-middleweight champion said that one of the greatest footballers of all time should “pray to God” that he didn’t find him.
Canelo Alvarez is furious with Lionel Messi because he appeared to kick a Mexico shirt on the floor during the celebrations after their World Cup match… pic.twitter.com/FWImZxHhhE
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) November 28, 2022
Alvarez received backlash from fans of Messi, however he said that he had no issue with the country of Argentina and rather just the perceived behaviour of their captain.
Respeto su país mucho mucho!! Esto no es con su país ojooo…♥️ https://t.co/vkTu0CG39b
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) November 28, 2022
The 2-0 victory for Argentina followed a shock defeat to Saudi Arabia in their opening game. It has given La Albiceleste a lifeline. A victory over Poland in their final group stage game will guarantee a place in the knockout stages and they could get even get through with a draw, if Mexico and Saudi Arabia also tie.
Canelo’s reaction, as many fans have pointed out, seems slightly out of proportion. Another Argentinian footballer in Sergio Aguero responded to the boxing superstar clarifying that Messi was simply taking his boot off, and that shirts are commonly on the floor after matches.
In his own sport, Canelo remains sidelined until around May following hand surgery. He is rumoured to fight John Ryder on Cinco De Mayo, possibly at the Emirates Stadium in London.
The four-weight world champion remains intent on avenging his defeat to Dmitry Bivol but is prepared to wait until September for the rematch as he continues to recover.